another earth

This film has been on my radar for a while and I finally watched it last night.  I can’t say that I liked it as much as I thought I would, perhaps because it ended up being quite different than what I expected, but it has certainly given me a lot to think about it which I often appreciate from films.

The premise is that a previously hidden planet, which was obscured by the sun, is discovered and it appears to be a mirror image of Earth.  The film has basically two main interconnected story lines.  One is of the people of this Earth trying to understand the significance and meaning of “Earth 2”, while the second follows the relationship between the characters of Rhoda Williams and John Burroughs who are connected through a tragic event that occurred four years prior.

In a few write-ups that I read of the film it seems that the script was developed to explore the question of what we would do if we could meet ourselves (in this case our other possibly identical self that lives on Earth 2).  To me, this film also could be used to explore the dichotomous ideas of the egocentrism of human nature on the one hand, in that we tend to interpret new events in ways that are wholly shaped by our previous expectations and experiences, and universality on the other.  I don’t think that this film was suggesting that all life in the Universe is the same as what we are experiencing on this planet, but perhaps it is not as different as we think it may be.

This film isn’t perfect in its delivery or logic but I don’t think it needed to me.  It is a very interesting exploration of human nature, self-perception, and the far-reaching consequences of our actions and in terms of these themes, the film is a real hit.  I will warn you that at times it is quite slow moving so watching it when you are tired (as I did) may not be the best idea!

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